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Twitter says TV drives trending topics

Twitter said Tuesday that TV stations can cause huge spikes in traffic to the site when they show hashtags or tweets onscreen in a post on the number of tweets during the royal wedding in London.

"Our work with TV partners like ABC, CNN, ITV, Sky and BBC shows that broadcast prompts like hashtags on-air immediately drive double to ten-fold increase in activity on Twitter," said Twitter's Chloe Sladden in a blog post.

Twitter has increasingly become the best real-time snapshot of how quickly news is spreading across the globe and how many Web users are engaged on a particular topic at a particular time. News of Osama bin Laden's death first spread across the Web via the micro-blogging service on Sunday night.

Sladden said activity on the site peaked at roughly 16,000 wedding-related tweets per minute early on the day of the wedding. The Financial Times reported there were roughly 300 wedding-related tweets per second during the event, in contrast to more than 5,000 tweets per second during President Obama's announcement of bin Laden's death.

Despite the spike, the bin Laden announcement has failed to generate the same sustained interest on the site as the royal wedding.